Thanks to the efficacy of modern banking, changing your bank account has never been easier. There’s no need to stare at the doleful face of your bank manager as they beg you for one last chance, nor flinch at the stern glare of the teller in-branch. The good news is that changing banks is now a relatively painless affair.
Whatever your reasons for ditching your account or for cutting ties with your bank altogether, the actual process shouldn’t take any longer than twenty minutes. What’s more, the switch could even earn you some cash which is certainly welcome in this current economic climate.
The first step you should take when switching bank accounts is to either close your current account, or better still, open a fresh account and allow the bank in question to handle the legwork. If you choose to open a bank account online (most institutions will allow you to apply for an account 24 hours a day, seven days a week), you will invariably be asked if you are transferring from an existing account from another financial institution. Answer yes and your new bank will take care of existing direct debits, standing orders, loan repayments and so forth, making your transition from one account to the other as seamless as possible. You will receive your ATM card in the post, internet and telephone banking codes. At this point you can register for such services as text bankingto get the most out of your new account.
After opening your brand new account, you will generally be asked to complete a ‘switching form’. Once you have signed this form, the physical transfer of your banking is complete. Your old account will generally be switched within one week, and better still, your old bank account could yield refunded stamp dutyand interest payments, both of which will be carried over to your newly-opened account.
So how can switching bank accounts earn you money? Well, many banks, keen to secure your business, offer joining incentives to get your name on the dotted line. Some will offer a cash bonus if depositing a minimum amount (£1,500 perhaps) into the account per month and transacting two direct debits. Others will dangle a £100 gift card or other incentive to encourage you to switch.
So there you have it: switching bank accounts is simple, quick and painless. Who knew?
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Catherine Halsey writes for a digital marketing agency on a range of subjects. This article was written on behalf of Ulster Bank.